Artist Interview with Robert Wade

Published: November 15, 2023

Categories: Artist Stories | Artists | Fall Campaign | Featured

“Artistic expression is a vital contributor to society.


Our support for artists is powered by fundraising! As part of our effort to raise $200,000 before the end of the year, we are sharing interviews with artists from across Washington State. We ask about their hopes for the future and how we can best support artists. Read more below and make a gift today

This week we spoke with Robert Wade, a photo-based artist, commercial photographer, and 2022 Artist Trust GAP recipient. Born in Los Angeles in 1945, he acquired his first single-lens reflex camera in the mid-1960s. Robert relocated from Southern California to Seattle in 1989. He has exhibited work in numerous local exhibitions and out of town shows in locales including New York, Miami, Brazil, and Spain. He currently shows at Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. As an arts volunteer, Robert is a long-time member of the Henry Art Gallery Board of Trustees. He has also served on the boards of CoCA and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. 


Photo by Jenny James

What has Artist Trust’s support meant to you?

Artist trust has provided much appreciated support for my photo book project. Artist Trust advocates for all artists and their events and activities have also provided me with opportunities to develop connections within the art community.

What are your hopes for the future of artists in Washington State? What would an ideal world look like for artists?

In my ideal world, Washington State artists would be able to sustain themselves despite the area’s high cost of living. Artists would have the kind of gallery support and other sales opportunities to survive and prosper.

What is something you’re looking forward to with your work, practice, or community?

More of the same. I’m a commercial photographer, working primarily with cultural organizations and a fine art photographer, showing at Koplin Del Rio Gallery. That combination works for me. In terms of my fine art photography, I have a deep archive going back to 1967 and I’d like to continue working with my early photographs.


“Connie Matthews, Black Panther Party. Copenhagen, Denmark.” Robert Wade, 1969.

What support do you think artists and artist communities need right now, and in the future? Why is it important to support individual artists right now?

Given problems like income inequality, climate change, national political dysfunction, and the high cost of living in the Seattle area, we’re in for a rough ride, both now and moving forward. Artists need an environment that provides spaces for artists to work, spaces for artists to have their work seen and acquired, and the kind of community that sees artistic expression as important, if not essential.

Why do you think it’s important for people to support Artist Trust as donors?

Many, if not most, artists need support. While donors may give for a variety of reasons, they all feel that artistic expression is a vital contributor to society.


Self-portrait, Robert Wade, Paris, 1969.

We hope you will join us in supporting Washington State artists! To make your tax-deductible donation today, visit


2023Artist StoryFall AppealLetterRobert Wade